Marketing seems to be the biggest fear of most dentists. It’s hard to quantify the results and it doesn’t fit in a nice little scientific box like clinical work or payroll does.
No matter what your fear of marketing may be, never do these three things:
Some dentists still believe that dentistry is not a business. They think that a dental degree and opening an office will summon the “patient gods” who will in turn inspire people racing to work in their car, checking Facebook posts, and dealing with family issues to go get their teeth cleaned. Botom line, Dentists needs to be doing marketing otherwise you will never get your message out and most people will live on without ever meeting you. And worse yet, they wont even care.
This is a bigger problem than "no marketing" because it’s proverbially kicking against the pricks. Many dentists have hijacked the dental associations or hired their own lobbyists to try to limit marketing efforts at a state or even federal level. This is archaic thinking and these dentists will die with the dinosaurs. Sure they may get something passed that pulls down their competitors for a time but they cut their own throat in the process.
The nay sayers of marketing say this is about patient care but then quickly move to how corporate dental marketing or aggressive marketing by sole practitioner dentists is just evil. Their solution is to get the government involved. Yikes.
This is brain power that should be spent on improving their practice experience and marketing.
This last point is not nearly as dangerous as the first two but worth mentioning. In case you haven’t noticed, people aren’t as interested in teeth as you are. (Honestly, you’re not that overly interested in teeth either.)
So what is good marketing?
What people are interested in are people. Focus on your patients, your people, and you as a person. Focus on the experience and feelings within your practice. I know it sounds all gushy. But let's face it, we remember what we feel when we are with people or go into a business, we rarely remember what actually took place. When your patients are describing your experience to their friends, they are not talking molars or prophys, they are talking about the feeling they got from you. Take risks in your marketing that show you as part of the community. What’s your hobbies, relationships, and interests that you can share with them. You may feel these things are boring or inimportant compared to the clincial care but trust me, they’re not nearly as boring as teeth.